Closing Thought–22Jun17

The Killing Of A Princess!

Remember the years after the death of Princess Di?  There was conspiracy after conspiracy about the cause of her death…everything from she was pregnant with another man’s baby to revenge for the divorce to a simple hit by Brit intel…..

Well if you thought those days were gone…..think again…..

An 80-year-old retired MI5 agent, John Hopkins, has made a series of astonishing confessions since he was released from hospital in London on Wednesday and told he has weeks to live. Hopkins claims to have been involved in 23 assassinations for the British intelligence agency between 1973 and 1999, including Princess Diana. 

Source: Retired MI5 Agent Confesses On Deathbed: ‘I Killed Princess Diana’

Is this just another of those looking for a few  moments of fame?

Will we ever know the truth?

Not in this lifetime…..but then all this speculation only one thing is constant….SHE IS STILL DEAD!

Whatchaya think?

Time to say adieu until the morrow…..have a day and get some smiles in….chuq

Closing Thought–21Jun17

I, Robot!

Before I begin I would like to report that TS Cindy is dumping lots of rain and a bit of wind but nothing too bad…..the local rivers will flood in the next day or so but they leave their banks if some one flushes a toilet upstream….the garden is taking a beating it may not return……oh well…..such is the life in the tropics.

Onto more important things…….

Remember the 3 Laws of Robotics?

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

There has been many leaps forward in AI research……some thought it was about time for some “laws”…….so at a recent meeting of the minds some goals and values and principles were set forth……

1) Research Goal: The goal of AI research should be to create not undirected intelligence, but beneficial intelligence.

2) Research Funding: Investments in AI should be accompanied by funding for research on ensuring its beneficial use, including thorny questions in computer science, economics, law, ethics, and social studies, such as:

  • How can we make future AI systems highly robust, so that they do what we want without malfunctioning or getting hacked?
  • How can we grow our prosperity through automation while maintaining people’s resources and purpose?
  • How can we update our legal systems to be more fair and efficient, to keep pace with AI, and to manage the risks associated with AI?
  • What set of values should AI be aligned with, and what legal and ethical status should it have?

3) Science-Policy Link: There should be constructive and healthy exchange between AI researchers and policy-makers.

4) Research Culture: A culture of cooperation, trust, and transparency should be fostered among researchers and developers of AI.

5) Race Avoidance: Teams developing AI systems should actively cooperate to avoid corner-cutting on safety standards

Source: AI Principles – Future of Life Institute

Will this make the science better or just a way to shut critics up?

Maybe a special session should be called to discuss the ethics of AI….I am sure somewhere the subject of morality will rear its head.

BTW….any tech types that have a plan or an idea about this subject please share……

That is it from me for the day…..time for a snack and a beer….and watch it rain…..be well, be safe….chuq

Then We Have “Executive Privilege”

WE heard the term many many times during Watergate and now with this hearing thing in full swing we are hearing it again……but what is “executive privilege”?  What do they mean?

Let’s go to the definition….

The Constitution does not specifically enumerate the president’s right to executive privilege; rather, the concept has evolved over the years as presidents have claimed it. As the courts have ruled on these claims, their decisions have refined the notion of executive privilege and have clarified the instances in which it can be invoked. The courts have ruled that it is implicit in the constitutional Separation of Powers, which assigns discrete powers and rights to the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government. In reality, however, the three branches enjoy not separate but shared powers, and thus are occasionally in conflict. When the president’s wish to keep certain information confidential causes such a conflict, the president might claim the right of executive privilege.

The term executive privilege emerged in the 1950s, but presidents since George Washington have claimed the right to withhold information from Congress and the courts. The issue first arose in 1792, when a congressional committee requested information from Washington regarding a disastrous expedition of General Arthur St. Clair against American Indian tribes along the Ohio River, which resulted in the loss of an entire division of the U.S. Army. Washington, concerned about how to respond to this request and about the legal precedent his actions would set, called a cabinet meeting. Although no official record was kept of the proceedings, Thomas Jefferson described the deliberations in his diary. The participants, Jefferson wrote, concluded that Congress had the right to request information from the president and that the president “ought to communicate such papers as the public good would permit & ought to refuse those the disclosure of which would injure the public.” In the case at hand, they agreed that “there was not a paper which might not be properly produced,” so Washington provided all the documents that Congress had requested. This event, though notable as the first recorded deliberation concerning executive privilege, did not carry precedential value until after 1957, when Jefferson’s notes were discovered. In 1958, Attorney General William P. Rogers cited Jefferson’s remarks as precedent for an absolute presidential privilege. Legal scholar Raoul Berger declaimed Rogers’s arguments as “at best self serving assertions by one of the claimants in a constitutional boundary dispute.” Instead, Berger argued, Washington’s willingness to turn over the requested documents shows his recognition of Congress’s right to such materials.

In subsequent incidents, however, Washington and his successors did choose to withhold requested information from Congress, citing various reasons. In 1794, for example, the Senate requested from Washington the correspondence of Gouverneur Morris, the U.S. ambassador to France, who was suspected of aiding the French aristocrats against the revolutionaries despite the United States’ official stance of neutrality. Washington provided the letters, but he censored them first, acting on the advice of officials such as Attorney General William Bradford, who said that the president should “communicate to the Senate such parts of the said correspondence as upon examination he shall deem safe and proper to disclose: withholding all such, as any circumstances, may render improper to be communicated.” The following year, Washington refused to provide the House with information relating to Ambassador John Jay’s negotiation of a treaty with Great Britain, arguing that the House had no constitutional right to participate in the treaty making process and so had no right to request materials associated with it.

A short history of the situation and its use and legality……

You now more than you did before you read this piece……you are welcome!

Believe me we will be hearing this term a lot in the coming months and now you can write on the phenom with a bit more knowledge….

Crap! Someone Lied!

Yesterday was full of news…horrible news….the high rise fire in London, the shooting of a US Rep and others and then came the proverbial “other shoe”……

After many Tweets about the fact the he, Trump, was not the focus of any investigation…that damn “shoe” was thrown into the mechanism….

It’s not an entirely happy 71st birthday for President Trump as the Washington Post reports what it calls a “major turning point” in the FBI investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election: Special Counsel Robert Mueller is now investigating whether Trump tried to obstruct justice, officials say. Though former FBI Director James Comey repeatedly told Trump he was not personally being investigated, that changed days after Trump fired Comey, officials say. Until now, the nearly year-old investigation has focused on Russia’s meddling and whether the Trump campaign was involved with it. Now, as the probe widens to include the obstruction of justice question, five people who have been briefed on requests from Mueller say that he is interviewing senior intelligence officials as part of that examination.

Daniel Coats, the current director of national intelligence, Adm. Mike Rogers, head of the National Security Agency, and Rogers’ former deputy, Richard Ledgett, have all agreed to be interviewed, the officials say. The Post has details of exchanges with Coats and Rogers that are reportedly of interest to Mueller, including a March 22 conversation in which Trump allegedly asked Coats to intervene with Comey to get the FBI to back off on Michael Flynn. The response to the story from Trump’s personal lawyer: “The FBI leak of information regarding the President is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal.” As for what will happen if evidence of criminal activity is uncovered, the Post explains that it’s complicated. Congress would likely need to review the evidence and decide whether to start impeachment proceedings.

The people in the White House have chimed in…….

When the Washington Post reported its potential bombshell on Wednesday—that a special prosecutor is looking into whether President Trump obstructed justice—the newspaper noted that aides were urging the president not to comment about the development on Twitter. Those requests didn’t work: Trump fired off two tweets Thursday morning denouncing the “phony story,” reports Politico. “You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history – led by some very bad and conflicted people!” tweeted Trump, who didn’t specify the people he was talking about.

Trump also suggested that the obstruction development came about because his critics hit a dead end trying to prove his campaign worked with Moscow. “They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story. Nice,” he wrote. The Post, and later the New York Times, say that special prosecutor Robert Mueller wants to interview three key figures to try to figure out whether Trump improperly sought their help to get James Comey to drop the FBI’s investigation of Michael Flynn. They are Dan Coats, director of national intelligence; Michael Rogers, head of the National Security Agency; and Richard Ledgett, former NSA deputy director.

As I heard this news I imagined my Right wing brethren having stroke…..but look at this way…now you guys have something fresh……. some new material to put down in your journals and blogs.

Let the ranting begin…..I look forward to what new insults that can be leveled at those that do not agree with my Right wing brethren.

A Political Football

Yesterday the news broke that a Congressional ball game practice had been interrupted by gunfire….

Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the GOP House majority whip, has been shot while at baseball practice in Alexandria, Va., reports Fox News. He is expected to survive, and the gunman is in custody. Police say a total of five people were wounded, with the other four believed to be two Capitol Hill police officers, a congressional aide, and the gunman. Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama was there and tells CNN that a white male shooter with a rifle of some kind unleashed multiple rounds on the field from behind a chain-link fence near a dugout. “I saw Scalise go down at second base,” said Sen. Rand Paul. Brooks said Scalise was shot in the hip and he helped tend to his fellow lawmaker’s wound by using a belt as a makeshift tourniquet. The extent of the injuries to others wasn’t immediately clear, but at least one person, believed to be one of the officers, was air-lifted from the scene.

“I was on deck, about to hit batting practice, when I heard a ‘blam,'” said Brooks on CNN, per USA Today. Scalise “was not able to move under his own power” and was “dragging his body from second base,” he said. “He was shot in the hip. I think it was not a life-threatening wound.” The Republican team was there practicing for a charity baseball game. Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona also was present and confirmed the gunman had been shot. “Whether he was targeting certain members, we don’t know.” He added that he got hold of Scalise’s phone and called Scalise’s wife to tell her the news personally. In a statement, President Trump tweeted that Scalise was a “true friend and patriot” and will “fully recover.” Paul credited the two Capitol Hill police officers on the scene with preventing a “massacre.”

Later the news broke with the ID of the gun man……

The gunman who opened fire Wednesday morning at a GOP congressional baseball practice outside DC has died, President Trump revealed in a public statement about the attack. The shooter had just been identified as 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Ill. Authorities have not speculated about a motive. Hodgkinson, whose license for a home-inspection business was not renewed late last year, has had at least one prior brush with the law: About a decade ago, he was charged with battery and aiding damage to a motor vehicle in St. Clair County, Ill., reports the Washington Post. The charges were dismissed.

After I heard the news my first thought was for the injured and then I wondered how long it would take someone, an intellectual midget, to turn this into some political football.

Did not take long before the biggest d/bag of all made his lame ass statement….

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) on Wednesday linked a growing trend of “hostility” on the left to violent incidents like the shooting that morning at congressional Republicans’ baseball practice.

“It’s part of a pattern,” Gingrich said on Fox News. “An increasing intensity of hostility on the left.”

Gingrich pointed to the violence and intimidation toward conservatives on college campuses as another sign of the left’s hostility toward Republicans and President Trump.

“Look, I talk to college students regularly,” Gingrich continued, “who say that if they are openly for Trump, they get threatened.”

“I’ve had college students tell me they get threatened with being beaten up, some of them get death threats,” he said.

Gingrich is a shameless opportunist….he is trying to take political advantage of a sad situation.

And he is not alone……enter the moron King

Right-wing Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King did not attend Wednesday’s practice but traveled to the baseball field after the shooting to tell the gathered media that “the violence is appearing in the streets, and it’s coming from the left.”

Wait!  There is more……

President Donald Trump’s son, Don Trump Jr., took his outrage to Twitter as well and blamed so-called New York elites who have glorified the assassination of the president.

And anyone that tries to make political hay out of this situation is a douche bag of the same caliber…..and I mean anyone….matters not which side of the aisle they play on…a gutless freak.

From under the political rocks crawls the slugs…..

Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers report an increase in threats following Wednesday’s shooting at a GOP baseball practice in Virginia. Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney of New York tells CNN she received an email with the subject line “One down, 216 to go.” The body of the email read: “When you take away ordinary peoples [sic] very lives in order to pay off the wealthiest among us, your own lives are forfeit. Certainly, your souls and morality were lost long before.” Democratic Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragàn tells BuzzFeed multiple Democratic lawmakers received calls saying “You guys are next” after the shooting.

Lawmakers from both parties say threats were already increasing prior to Wednesday’s shooting. Democratic Rep. Al Green of Texas says there’s been a shift in the “intensity of ugly calls,” saying some of the threats “really tug at your heart.” Republican Rep. David Schweikert of Arizona says he recently received a threat hoping for the death of his daughter. “In the past we’ve always sort of just sucked it up,” he says. Republican Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana and lobbyist Matt Mika were shot Wednesday and remain in critical condition following surgery, CNN reports. Congressional staffer Zach Barth and Capitol Police officers Crystal Griner and David Bailey are doing well. The shooter, James Hodgkinson, was killed by police.

Seriously?

This is American politics now.

Happy?

“I Do Not Recall”

The next big thing was yesterday…..AG Sessions testifies before the Senate Intel Committee on the ever present Russian thing.

His opening statement was a rambling mish mash about his place in the Trump admin and then he went on about a desire to prosecute medical marijuana shops….an AG that has little knowledge about state’s rights….he showed his ignorance.  (but if he challenges that then other state’s rights issue should be challenged)

If one was having a drinking game during the testimony and “I do not recall” was the trigger term then you would have been hammered 30 minutes into his testimony.  It will be is most famous quote from the Hearing.

He was questioned and he answered…….

Attorney General Jeff Sessions began his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday by claiming interference in the US’ democratic process “can never be tolerated and I encourage every effort to get to the bottom of any such allegations” in his opening remarks. He went on to deny ever meeting any Russian officials to discuss interference in the 2016 election or campaign. Furthermore, he says he has no knowledge of anyone involved in the Trump campaign who held such meetings. Sessions says any suggestion he was involved in collusion with Russia is an “appalling and detestable lie.” Here’s what else you need to know from Sessions’ testimony:

  • CNN reports Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Burr had four things he wanted to learn from Sessions’ testimony, including: Sessions’ possible meetings with Russian officials, why he recused himself from the Russia investigation, and if he was involved in the removal of James Comey.
  • Sessions refused to discuss conversations he’s had with President Trump, according to the New York Times, saying: “I cannot and will not violate my duty to protect confidential communications with the president.”
  • The Daily Beast reports that led Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich to accuse Sessions of “impeding” the Russian investigation, telling him: “Your silence … speaks volumes.”
  • Sessions argues that just because he recused himself from the Russian investigation, that didn’t preclude him from recommending the firing of James Comey, according to the Los Angeles Times. Sessions says he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein agreed the FBI needed a “fresh start” long before meeting with Trump about it.

Sessions responded to questions about his honesty by suggesting there are “secret innuendos” out there about him.

This was a waste of time and energy….if there is a closed door session then maybe more will be learned.

Basically, he could have gone home after his opening statement.  For he either has dementia or is lying.

As usual if you do not like what you read of my post then go to the transcript and make up your own…..or if you were smart and did not watch this circus but still want to know what was said……

Source: Transcript: Jeff Sessions’ testimony on Trump and Russia – POLITICO

My only question is…would the AG allow a witness to use the dodge ”
I do not recall” that many times without a suspicious eye?  Selective amnesia as it were.

The Interview Of The Year?

First I would like to thank everyone who stopped by IST yesterday…..we had over 120 comments…one of my better days……thanx to my friends.

Remember Megyn Kelly?

She is that ex-FOX star that switched sides and went to work for the opposition, MSNBC and NBC.

She scored an interview with Putin for her first one for her new home…a coup for her.

Her second major interview has caused a bit of a row and caused a bit of turmoil……..

Megyn Kelly’s first interview for her new Sunday show on NBC News was none other than Vladimir Putin. But the guest coming up on her June 18 show may be generating even more attention: conspiracy theorist Alex Jones of Infowars. Given that Jones has suggested, among other things, that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax and that 9/11 was an “inside job,” the choice is generating a ton of criticism already. Coverage:

  • Teaser: NBC has released a teaser of the interview, in which Kelly challenges Jones on Sandy Hook in particular and accuses him of a “dodge” in his response. See it here.
  • Typical sentiment: A post at AV Club voices a common sentiment among those criticizing the choice. “She may be calling him out for his claims that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax, but she’s still giving him an opportunity to defend that repugnant argument,” writes Sam Barsanti.
  • Kelly’s defense: She notes that President Trump has praised Jones and wants to give him White House press credentials. “Many don’t know him; our job is 2 shine a light,” she tweets.
  • Mother’s response: “By making this choice, you grieve our hearts and the memory of our child,” tweets Nelba Marquez-Greene, whose daughter, Ana Grace, was killed in the school shooting. “You have a powerful platform. I encourage you to ‘shine light’ on affirming the losses suffered here- NOT on a person who mocks those losses…. Evil doesn’t need another platform.”
  • Much more:HuffPost rounds up the many critical tweets surfacing about the interview. One in particular catching attention: “My nephew survived Sandy Hook. I am not tolerating this. Will never watch @megynkelly or @NBCNews again if they choose to air this.”
  • Jones’ reaction: On Friday, Jones posted a video in which he goes after Kelly personally in the wake of their interview, notes Mediaite. “Not feminine. Cold. Robotic. Dead,” Jones said. “I felt zero attraction to Megyn Kelly. That’s not an insult to Megyn Kelly. I talked to a lot of other folks that know her. They say, ‘No. It’s the same.’ Because you’re dealing with…sociopath? A psychopath? I don’t know.”
  • ‘Performance artist’: In his recent child custody case, Jones told the court that he is merely a “performance artist.” He lost the case.

Morning show: Kelly launches a morning show on NBC in the fall, and she just landed a big-name producer, reports Page Six.

Let the consequences begin…and there may be more…..

Megyn Kelly’s interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is set to air Sunday on NBC, and there’s been no shortage of outrage over her decision to give airtime to the man who says the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax. The Wall Street Journal reports by way of a source that JP Morgan Chase is speaking with its wallet: It has reportedly pulled its local TV and digital ads from all NBC News slots, including Kelly’s show, from now through the Jones interview.

The Journal didn’t get a comment from NBC or confirmation from JP Morgan, but it did cite a tweet from JP Morgan CMO Kristin Lemkau that falls in line with the narrative: “As an advertiser, I’m repulsed that @megynkelly would give a second of airtime to someone who says Sandy Hook and Aurora are hoaxes.” Read Kelly’s defense of the Jones interview, and Jones’ unkind words for Kelly, here.

The chaos over this interview has caused the star to offer up and explanation…..

Megyn Kelly is underfire for her decision to sit down with Infowars host Alex Jones, who has peddled conspiracy theories, including the idea that the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre was faked by the government. But on Tuesday she defended the interview, which will air on NBC News Sunday. “I find Alex Jones’s suggestion that Sandy Hook was ‘a hoax’ as personally revolting as every other rational person does,” Kelly said in a statement posted to Twitter. “It left me, and many other Americans, asking the very question that prompted this interview: how does Jones, who traffics in these outrageous conspiracy theories, have the respect of the president of the United States and a growing audience of millions?”

“President Trump, by praising and citing him, appearing on his show, and giving him White House press credentials, has helped elevate Jones, to the alarm of many,” Kelly continues. “Our goal in sitting down with him was to shine a light—as journalists are supposed to do—on this influential figure, and yes—to discuss the considerable falsehoods he has promoted with near impunity.” The statement came in response to the announcement that nonprofit Sandy Hook Promise has dumped her as the host of its gala in DC Wednesday night thanks to the Jones interview. Previews for Sunday’s interview show Jones appearing to change the subject when asked about his Sandy Hook comments, saying that what people should really be concerned about are “animal-human hybrids.”

This situation is all too much fun for junkies like me……where will this go?

How will the ratings play out?

Somewhere there is another shoe waiting to fall.